NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, December 22nd)
Final Score: LA Lakers 111, Oklahoma City 108
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant had 40 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-108, for their fifth consecutive victory.
Pau Gasol added 15 points and 11 boards for the Lakers, who were coming off a 4-1 road trip and take their current winning streak into their Christmas Day contest against Cleveland.
Ron Artest added 12 points, seven boards and five assists in the win.
Kevin Durant had 30 points to pace the Thunder, who have lost two in a row and five of six overall. Russell Westbrook ended with 21 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds for Oklahoma City.
The Lakers led by 11 nearly midway through the fourth, but two Westbrook free throws and a James Harden dunk cut Oklahoma City's deficit to single digits. Then, with 3:55 left, Westbrook made 1-of-2 from the line to end a four-point burst that got the Thunder within 100-95.
They were within a possession multiple times down the stretch, including when Westbrook's pullup jumper made it a 105-102 game with 1:55 left. But 24 seconds later Durant was whistled for his sixth foul, leaving the Thunder without their leading scorer, and Bryant made two free throws.
"Played him tough, only committed two fouls," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of Artest, who guarded Durant. "That's pretty incredible he can guard him that well...KD is going to continue to work and get better and it's a great test to play against one of the better defenders."
Westbrook, however, drove for a layup with just under a minute left to make it a three-point game. After Gasol was called for an offensive foul at the other end, Westbrook sank a baseline jumper to make it 107-106 with 25.5 ticks left.
Following two Bryant free throws, Harden drove for a layup with 15.4 on the clock to get the Thunder within 109-108. Derek Fisher went to the line and made two for LA, giving Oklahoma City a chance to tie.
But Westbrook's three-point try hit off the rim, and several put-back tries were unsuccessful as the clock ran out, sealing the Lakers' win.
Oklahoma City held a 30-25 lead after the opening quarter, and near the midway point of the second, Serge Ibaka's tip-in and Harden's two makes from the line pushed the Thunder advantage to 47-35.
Later in the frame, eight consecutive Lakers points got their deficit down to 53-49. The Thunder were up 61-54 at the break.
"Sixty-one points at the half is too many to give up," Fisher said. "The Thunder played well, they came out and played hard. Coming off the road it's tough to generate the energy that you need in the first game back."
The Lakers totally erased their deficit with a 9-2 run to begin the third. Artest had a layup and capped the burst with a three to make it a 63-63 game. The frame remained tight, though Los Angeles scored six of the final seven points to take an 88-82 edge to the fourth.
About five minutes into the final quarter, a seven-point Lakers run pushed their lead to 98-87.
Bryant hyperextended his left knee in the fourth quarter, but said after the game that while it was scary, he's fine...Harden and Thabo Sefolosha each scored 16 for the Thunder, while Ibaka had a career-high 14 rebounds..Fisher scored 15, tying his season high...The Lakers made 32-of-39 from the line, including 12-of-14 from Bryant. The Thunder made 20-of-24 free throws.
12/23 02:31:01 ET